"SHROPSHIRE, (or Salop), an inland county in the W. of England, is bounded on the N. by Cheshire, E. by Staffordshire, S. by Worcestershire and Herefordshire, and W. by the Welsh counties of Radner, Montgomery, and Denbigh. It lies between 62° 18' and 53° 0' N. lat. and between 2° 14' and 3° 12' W. long. Its extreme length from N. to S. is 48 miles, and its greatest breadth from E. to W. is 40 miles. The area of the county is 1,343 square miles, or 859,520 acres, of which 790,000 acres are arable, meadow, and pasture. The population at the commencement of the century was 169,248; in 1851 it was 229,341; and in 1861, 240,959, or 42 per cent: over the number in 1801..................... More" [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
Salter, Mike - The Old Parish Churches of Shropshire. Folly Publications: ISBN 1-871731-47-X. I can recommend this book personally - like others in his Old Parish Churches series, it is extremely well-researched, and for me, a regular source of reference.
The Rev. R.W. Eyton's "Antiquities of Shropshire" is a unique source of Shropshire history, places and people in the 11th-14thC. It's in 12 volumes and not an easy read but is worth persisting with if you're looking up a specific place. Available at Mel Lockie's website..
Transcriptions of Hereford Bishops' Registers, and in particular the names of Rectors (or Vicars) and their Patrons for each Benefice of Hereford Institutions, provided by Mel Lockie. N.B. a significant number of Shropshire parishes were in Hereford Diocese.
The searchable LDS website - IGI and Familysearch. Note on using IGI Batch Numbers It is not always easy to locate your ancestors in the IGI using the search mechanisms provided at the above LDS site. Manually typing the batch numbers into the IGI search screen can be tedious. Hugh Wallis has made an exhaustive search of the likely ranges of batch numbers and created a database of those numbers and the source records that they apply to. A very powerful feature included is a hotlink from each batch number to the actual search engine provided at the Family Search site, including the ability to enter the surname you are looking for. This makes it very easy to search all the batches for a particular geographic location using just the last name you are searching for - something that is not possible directly from the LDS site without doing a lot of typing. This is Hugh Wallis's site.
Information about Shropshire Marriage Indexes. However, amongst many other products, the SFHS (see below) also have available a Shropshire Marriage Index.
Copies of certificates of Birth, Death and Marriage may be obtained from either the General Register Office (GRO), or from the Superintendent Registrar's Office in the District they were first issued. If the District no longer exists, this would be the Office to which its registers have been moved.
If ordering from a District (Superintendant's) Register Office, please note the following:
the cost of a certificate is £9.25 - send a Sterling cheque payable to the Superintendent Registrar plus return postage or two International Reply Coupons;
the General Register Office (GRO) Index references (available via FreeBMD) are of no value;
for marriage certificates, the precise place of marriage must be given;
Civil Registration in England and Wales began on July 1st 1837.
The Prison Service Museum near Rugby houses HM Prison Service's historical collection of exhibits, illustrating the history of imprisonment from medieval times to the present day. Housed in a converted stable block, the museum contains reconstructions of Victorian prison architecture, and exhibits include the last set of Gibbet Irons used in England. Smaller items include bone carvings and paintings made by prisoners in their cells, and a nineteenth century sampler embroidered by a female prisoner from her own hair.
Admission to the museum is by appointment only, please contact:- The Curator,
HM Prison Service Museum,
Tel: 01788 834168
[Information compiled from "The Penal Lexicon Home Page", formerly at www.penlex.org.uk/pages/index.html.]
English Heritage Viewfinder - site with historic photographs, searchable by county. Has some unusual ones of the Industrial Age which won't be found amongst the more usual postcard collections!.
The Francis Frith Collection - a collection of over 700,000 photographs of the UK, Europe and the Middle East taken by the Victorian photographer Francis Frith.
A Vision of Britain Through Time - information about your home area from the 2001 census, and from each British census back to 1801. Presented both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time.
A digital library of medieval and modern sources of the history of the British Isles - British History Online. Notable souces include Journals of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, and the Victoria County History.
An Encyclopaedia of British History: 1700-1950 - useful for seeing local events against a national perspective. Scroll down the introductory page on this site to see topics - Monarchy, Child Labour, The Railways, &c. .
The Domesday Book site - "to enable visitors to find out the history of the Domesday Book and to give an insight into life at the time of its compilation". Note this site does not provide the original text, but does include a list settlements existing in 1086.
Mike Durtnall is providing a country-wide collection of Historical Manuscripts Pages recording details of deeds that have been offered for sale on eBay and in auction catalogues. In most cases whereabouts of the documents will be unknown, but sufficient details of the property involved and of buyers, sellers, mortages, &c. is provided to make them a useful research tool.
Pat Johnson has a large collection of original Family Deeds. Abstracts, with name and parish indexes are provided onsite, with transcriptions of the full documents available for a modest fee. In addtion, the original deed may also be available for purchase if required.
The Equity/Chancery Court Pleadings Database (on the Public Record Office's website) provides an online index to some of the Chancery Pleadings in series C6. Searches can be made by both name and place.
Access to various satellite map sites (Google, MS Live, &c.) via the convenient front end of Flash Earth. .
The London Ancestor site has maps from the 1885 Boundary Commissioners report for all parts of the British Isles, including Shropshire (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1885).
A most useful set of maps for the whole of England and Wales, showing parish boundaries, on a one inch to the mile scale - see: Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Maps of England and Wales: Boundaries before 1850.
From Feb 2007, these maps were withdrawn from sale, but some classes of user can still download the maps free of charge.
The Old Maps web site has a wonderful series of 1:10,560 scale historical maps for the whole of the UK available on-line.
The Genmaps site contains a fine collection of Old Maps of the British Isles for Genealogists and Historians. In particular, see Old Maps of Shropshire.
The above Genmaps Links pages lists Great Britain - Medieval Maps, which in turn provides several maps including an intriguing Ecclesiastical Map of the British Isles in the Middle Ages, which shows the principal Monasteries, demonstrating some of the earliest centres of habitation and influence.
Detailed Maps of the area you may be interested in Shropshire are viewable at the UK Street Map Page. The site provides a most useful service, with superb address searching and street map facilities for anywhere in mainland Great Britain.
A very comprehensive site featuring Castles and Fortifications - CastleUK.net.
The Age of Nelson - a website providing general information about the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, and specifically searchable databases of those present at Trafalgar (and more) and of all Commissioned Naval Officers 1787-1822.
Names from Musters of the Shropshire Militia 1781-82 are available for purchase on floppy disk or microfiche through Family History Indexes (the link to Militia Musters is part way down the page).
The British Library's building at Colindale includes reading rooms providing access to newspapers. See also the British Library's Newspapers Digitisation Project for up-to-date details of research facilities.
Richard Heaton's site, Last Chance To Read, now includes about 550 copies (or eleven years worth) of the Salopian Newspaper starting in 1810. The runs aren't yet complete but a few more will be added when Richard gets time. While the site is free to search, it's pay to view, so be prepared (2 copies - 27/10/1813 and 17/02/1830 - are free of charge). However, anyone interested in Shropshire and surrounding counties should find it helpful.
Shropshire County Council. This new unitary authority now provides all the services and functions formerly run by Shropshire County Council and Bridgenorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and South Shropshire District Councils.
Mother Bedford - "a website devoted primarily to the history of Old-Bedford County, Pennsylvania during the American Revolutionary War period" - a fascinating site including items of general historical interest, e.g.:
The E 179 Database (on the National Archives website) contains detailed information about over 26,000 documents relating to the taxation of lay people in England and Wales between c.1200 and c.1700. These documents are likely to contain many names.